North African Rock Art under new light: A Palaeosociology of the last Hunter-Gatherers and first Pastoralists

  • Supervisor: Olivier Gosselain
  • Research center: Centre d'anthropologie culturelle
  • Research start date: 01.09.2019


In North Africa, hundreds of rock art sites located in desert areas testify to the occupation of the so-called ‘Green Sahara’, when palaeoenvironmental conditions were more favourable to human settlement and activities. Despite a long tradition of research, most striking is that nobody has investigated the potential of this rock art corpus to tell us about social and anthropological considerations. The aim of NARA-PalSoc research project is to investigate representations of human groups with questions about (1) human relations, (2) social organizations and (3) subsistence activities and worldviews. The project proposes to use this underused body of data in order to elaborate what might be termed as a "Palaeosociology" of both the last hunter-gatherers and the first pastoralists groups in North Africa and for a better understanding of the social dynamics at a time of major shifts in the ways of life.